It has been awhile. I stopped sharing my thoughts because so many things were happening in my life. Some were good, some were stressful. No matter what life brings to me, I always try to redirect my energy for positivity.
I became a mother of my 4th child in 2015, and he is such a light in our family. He was smart, talkative, learned how to walk and talk when he was 1 year old. He also counted until 10 before he turned to 2 years old. However, as a mother, I started noticing that something went wrong with his development. My son stopped reacting to his name. I called him many times, I even tried to raise my voice to call him, but he used to continue playing with his toys and did not react to his name.
Then, he started having behavioral issues, he used to hurt himself and his siblings. I got also some of his aggressive behavior. Not only it became stressful to handle him, it became concerning when I realized that he stopped talking. He seemed to forget everything he learned prior. I was longing for his glance, his words, and his smiles. Our shiny days turned into days and nights full of confusion. What had happened?
As a mother, I knew something was wrong. My child was different, he was different from all my other three children. Yet, almost everyone told me that my son was fine, it happens with any child who is in the development process, and 3 year old period is considered to be one of the critical stages in life when the child develops his identity. The child at that age usually wants power, but they can express it differently. Some tell you “I do it myself,” “I can,” “It is for me,” “Can I try?” and others just cry to draw your attention. I agreed, but at the same time I started doing my own research on the symptoms, and consulted with doctors to share my concerns. Everything I read and researched made me conclude that my child is in the Autism Spectrum. The more I read articles, the more I watched videos, the more I realized that my child is autistic.
As a mother, who took classes on childhood development, I knew that the first five years of early childhood development are crucial and therefore I had to do something to help my child develop and challenge his brain so that it is not too late. We got many tests, including hearing, visual, and others to identify his strengths and weaknesses. I worked 60-80 hours a week at that time, I was exhausted working overnight. Yet, during daytime I was taking my child to all educational and health facilities so they could tell me what I should do next. Even doctors are afraid to tell you anything until they get medical diagnosis. I get it. That is why, I decided to act myself because every minute counts. My son was not potty trained, he actually was afraid of this procedure, but still I was able to give my child to Morning Out Program 3 days a week.
Thanks to the Individualized Educational Plan, five experts were coming and working with my child to correct his behavior, teach him new words and social skills because he loved playing by himself. You know what, I saw the difference in two months. Even 3 hours per week of specialized education from special district school were so impactful on my son’s development. My son, Tabris, stopped hurting himself and his siblings, he started talking short sentences telling us what he wanted and what he did not want. Now, if we vacuum, we ask him to leave to another room because autistic children cannot bear the loud noise. If I talk loudly, as my natural voice is loud, he tells me “Mom, stop, please quiet!”
As a mother, I am so happy today that I did not listen to anyone who told me to wait and my son would be okay. I am glad I took actions, even though I had to work 60-80 hours per week. I am glad that my son got professional support who were mindful of his special needs and were able to provide effective intervention on timely manner. Two years had passed since we received intervention, and we still waiting for the medical diagnosis to be concluded.
If I would have waited for the diagnosis, or if I would not have taken action to advocate for my child’s needs at his early stage of development, my son would be in the worse situation as he is now.
As a mother, believe in your instinct, believe in yourself, especially when it comes to advocating for your child.